A new year, a new project, and getting back to blogging

The arrival in my mailbox of WordPress’s Year in Review prompted me to reflect on what has been a very patchy year of blogging. When I first started Focused Moments, back in April 2012, I wrote a new post every day, and kept that up for the best part of a year. But, during 2014, the flow of posts somehow dwindled, and dwindled… 2014 was a year with challenges, but that’s no excuse.  There’s no point in promising to do better; you’ve heard it all before. I should just get on and do it; less talk more action!  After all, WordPress is a great platform, and some recent enquiries and sales have reminded me that it is also one that does every well in search rankings. So, time to get back on that horse.
To start with, I am beginning a project 365. After I completed the usual one-new-image-a-day project back in 2009, I swore I’d never do it again. But this is going to be different. I don’t need motivation to go out and take new images; I can hardly help myself. But I have a massive, sadly disorganised and neglected back catalogue. So I am going to post a ‘this day x years ago’ image every day this year, and it has to be a new edit or an image never before shared.  Not only will I be forced to trawl through those forgotten pictures, I will also be forced to log in and do something on Focused Moments. And, once I’m here, I might as well post new stuff too. We’ll see.

national park

Dartmoor National Park 365/1

Anyway, here’s image 365/1, from a bracing New Year’s Day 2013 spent exploring Dartmoor National Park. I’d love to spend more time in this atmospheric location. I have a couple of windows of opportunity for exploring more of the UK this year and Dartmoor, with its windy tors and lonely, tortured trees, is definitely on the shortlist.

Landscapes by Women

Australia
I am delighted to have been accepted into Landscapes by Women, a collective of inspiring photographers with a growing presence in the industry.  My fellow members not only have strong portfolios but they also educate, lead tours, inspire through lectures and contribute images and text to prestigious publications here in the UK and beyond.  I am honoured to be in their company.
East Sussex
By why Landscapes by Women?  In this emancipated age, do we really need a group specifically for women?  Landscape photography is a male dominated field. There may be purely practical reasons for this.  Issues of personal safety complicate being out alone with expensive kit in remote locations and low light.  Although there are many exceptions, generally women take the larger role in raising children.  It can be hard to chase the best light when tea has to be made, homework supervised, bedtime stories read.   I can’t count the number of times I have watched beautiful light through the window while cooking dinner.   Chatley Heath
I hasten to add that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I feel privileged to be a mum and consider it the best and most important job I will ever have.   But you can see why landscape photography might favour the men.
British Columbia
However, there are more female landscape photographers now than ever before. Landscapes by Women celebrates that fact and aims to ‘show that regardless of any challenges women face, we can bring unique and compelling images’. I would love it if you had time to visit the website and see for yourself.  You can also find us on Facebook.

The wonderful Wey

Weybridge

Two more shots from my stroll along my local stretch of the Wey Navigation in Weybridge.  The top one is a panorama, stitched from five separate vertical images to make a big 11000 by 7000 (approx) pixel file, which will make a mighty print, if I ever print it.  The lower image is the same viewpoint as my moonrise shot last month.

Weybridge

 

I am now writing for a local website once a week and the second shot featured in my article last week.

 

 

Textures of Lyme

Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, is one of my favourite towns. One morning in August last year I left my family enjoying the sandy beach and went hunting for images. I have shared some of my larger compositions in earlier posts, but I also snapped up some details, trying to capture some of the textures of the harbour.

Lyme Regis

Can you see a face?


The distinctive S shape of Lyme’s famous seawall, The Cobb, has become a symbol for the town.
Lyme Regis
The harbour is used by pleasure boats and fishing boats, and there are plenty of interesting textures in the paraphernalia of the trade.
Lyme Regis
Old wooden hulls contrast with modern plastic fenders.
Lyme Regis
Colours of rust show up against black doors.
rusty locks
There are plenty of interesting signs as well, some with a sense of humour.
Lyme Regis
This last shot is more about people than textures, although I suppose the town’s people are part of its texture on a larger scale. Appropriate to its strong maritime flavour, Lyme Regis has a Boat Building Academy. I snapped some youngsters taking a break from their craft.
Lyme Regis
More from Lyme another day.

Walking on the ledge

 

kimmeridge dorset

16mm, f22, 1/3, ISO 100

Mostly I go for a naturalistic approach but sometimes it’s fun to play around with black and white, and a little bit of colour.  Kimmeridge Bay is on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.  It is best known as a ‘honeypot’ location for spectacular sunset and sunrise shots.  But what can you do when the weather doesn’t co-operate?  Give it up as a bad job or try for something a little more creative?  Some of my other images from this shoot are here, here and here.